Why we outgrow allergies is a phenomenon that continues to baffle researchers today. The fact is, we know more about what causes allergies in people, than we do about why they come and go over time. But by examining different types of allergies and their causes, researchers could gain more insight into other ways to treat or even combat them.
Because as many as 50 million people in the U.S. experience allergies or allergy symptoms, Freedom Home Care thought it was important to understand as much as possible about what doctors call the “6th leading cause of chronic illness” in America. So we did some research and wanted to share some of what we found below.
What Causes Them
Our immune system was built to stand guard against what it sees as a potential threat. Certain things like pollen, food or pet dander can trigger a reaction in the body, causing the immune system to create antibodies to fight it off. When it does, you experience symptoms like sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, sore, itchy throat and skin irritations. Experts also cite infection, pollution, hormones and smoking as possible causes as well.
What we do know is that many people with allergies have an overly sensitive immune system. But what we don’t know is why some people react to certain triggers while others don’t. A person might even react to something one season, but no have no reaction the next. Someone else may have a minor reaction to grass, while the effects might be life-threatening for another.
Who Gets Them
There are some people who are predisposed to having allergies because of genetics. Just not necessarily the same one(s). If one parent is allergic, there’s a 33 percent chance the child will develop an allergy. If both parents are allergic, those odds increase to 70 percent.
The environment also plays a large part in whether a person has allergies. How much and how early they’re exposed to a trigger, can also determine whether they develop allergies to it or not. Other reasons a person might develop allergies is because of asthma.
Can You Outgrow Them
Here’s where it gets complicated. Not everyone is the same. In some cases, a child might grow up and not suffer from the same allergies that he did when he was younger. They might even let up a bit with age. Or they could get worse.
Allergists say that sometimes children with soy, wheat, milk or egg allergies can outgrow them by the time they’re teens. Allergies to peanuts, in many cases, continue on into adulthood. And some people’s immune systems are just prone to identify allergens and take action. These are usually the people who end up allergic to many things at once.
Other reasons you might outgrow an allergy include pregnancy, puberty, menopause or asthma.